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UK news in brief

29 January 2016


Open space: Victoria Tower Gardens, next to the Houses of Parliament

Open space: Victoria Tower Gardens, next to the Houses of Parliament

Holocaust memorial to be built in Westminster

A NATIONAL memorial to the Holocaust will be built in Victoria Tower Gardens, next to the Palace of Westminster, the Prime Minister announced on Holocaust Memorial Day, on Wednesday. A competition to design a “striking and prominent” sculpture to remember the six million Jews who were murdered under the Nazi regime will be launched in the coming weeks, and the memorial is expected to be built and in place by the end of 2017. Plans for an adjoining learning centre are also in progress. The project has been approved by the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation.


Bishop Bell C of E school renamed

BISHOP BELL Church of England School in Eastbourne, which took its name from the former Bishop of Chichester, George Bell, has been renamed. Bishop Bell has been the focus of controversy after the diocese of Chichester admitted failing to investigate a charge of sexual abuse levelled against him in 1995, 37 years after his death (News, 22 October).The school account for Bishop Bell School tweeted on Wednesday: “We’re going to be St Catherine’s College. Exciting times ahead as we also join the Chichester Diocese Academy Trust.” The school said in a statement last week that it had started a rebranding exercise in 2014, and that the allegations against Bishop Bell had “accelerated” the process. An alternative name was St Edward’s College. Letters


Get tough with tax-dodging companies, says Christian Aid

CHRISTIAN AID has urged its supporters in the UK to lobby their councils to persuade them to “get tough” with companies that evade tax. The Senior Public Advocacy Adviser at the charity, Helen Collinson, said on Wednesday that councils in England should use their “legal powers” to avoid deals with suppliers who had been found guilty of tax evasion. The threat of losing a multi-million-pound contract might deter companies from attempting to avoid tax, she said. The appeal came after Google agreed last week to pay £130 million in back tax to HMRC. An official said that this was the “full tax due in law”. Mr Cameron defended the sum during PMQs on Wednesday.


Peterborough calls for more prison education

THE Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister, has called for prisoners to be given greater access to education programmes. In a House of Lords debate on Tuesday, Bishop Allister said that the delivery of courses in prisons had been badly affected by cuts in funding and too much “tinkering” by the Government. He called for a more holistic approach, with a set amount of money for education across all prisons, and the end to the movement of prisoners at short notice, which had the effect of curtailing their studies.


New Reflections for Lent app

THE new Reflections for Lent app has been released, marking five years since the project was first unveiled. The latest version of the app, which features Bible readings, reflections, and prayers from authors including Paula Gooder, Martyn Percy, and Steven Croft, includes audio recordings of each day’s content. Church House Publishing, which has developed the app, is run in association with Hymns Ancient & Modern, a registered charity that also owns the Church Times.

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